Credit: Andrew Chin Photography/ Tourism Vancouver
Travel at ease with your whole family in Vancouver. There is definitely no shortage of kid-friendly activities to keep all members entertained. Here is a round-up of things you can do with your little one that is also fun for the whole family:
University of British Columbia
Perfect for curious children, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum encourages guests to get up-close-and-personal with the natural world by standing face-to-face with Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton (26 meters long!) and exploring 500-plus exhibits. Fun fact: the museum was listed as having the “best collection of weird things in drawers” – and it’s not long before visitors see why.
UBC's Botanical Garden is great for families who are seeking adventure. Climb up to the Greenheart Canopy Walkway, a series of suspended walkways and tree platforms high above the forest floor. This is the perfect spot to give children the opportunity to channel their inner bird, as the walkway gives a bird's eye view of Vancouver's coastal temperate rainforest.
The Museum of Anthropology houses one of the world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations art in a spectacular building overlooking mountains and sea. Massive totem poles, carved feast dishes, canoes, and unique bentboxes by Haida, Kwakawaka'wakw, Nisga'a, and other indigenous artists are fun to enjoy from a kids perspective.
Queen Elizabeth Park
Sitting at the highest point in the City of Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park offers a number of free display gardens, along with golf, lawn bowling, an outdoor arboretum, and the indoor Bloedel Floral Conservatory.
Take a wander through the Bloedel Conservatory, a lush, domed tropical paradise at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. Inside, it's a fun place to go bird watching, with more than 200 colorful, free-flying birds.
VanDusen Botanical Garden features 22 hectares of plant collections that represent ecosystems ranging from tropical South Africa to the Himalayas to the Arctic, as well as plants native to Vancouver's own Pacific Northwest. During the holidays, the garden transforms into a winter wonderland, full of kid Christmas delight for the VanDusen Festival of Lights. In honor of spooky season, VanDusen puts on Glow in the Garden, one of Vancouver's best Halloween events for young children and families.
Space is fascinating to kids of all ages, and the Space Centre does a great job of bringing astronomy to life. Tinker with the exhibits in the Cosmic Courtyard, like one of only five touchable moon rocks in the entire world (it is approximately 3.75 billion years old!), lift a real-life meteorite (it's heavy!) and stargaze at the Observatory. Finish the family day out with a multimedia astronomy show at the 360° Planetarium StarTheatre.
For cultural kiddos, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is the perfect place. Explore the grounds of the first full-scale classical Chinese garden built outside of China, and enjoy the authentic architecture, culturally significant plants, naturally sculpted rocks, and mesmerizing winding jade-green waterways.
Ride an Aquabus around False Creek! These rainbow-colored mini-ferries that criss-cross False Creek are a fun and perfect way to experience Vancouver with tiny travelers. If the kids are tired of walking, families can hop on a rainbow branded boat with ferry service to Granville Island, downtown, Yaletown and around False Creek.
Home to the Vancouver Children’s Festival, taking place May 25 – 31, 2020, Granville Island is perfect for the whole family. Not only is there plenty to eat and do for parents, but there's also more than enough for children too! Check out the popular Kids Market, grab some ice cream at Bridges, overload on chocolate at Roger's Chocolates, rent a kayak at Vancouver Water Adventures, or simply enjoy some live and local street performances.
From the awe-inspiring dome exterior to the interactive exhibits inside, Science World is one of Vancouver's most kid-friendly attractions. Parents can take a seat or dive headfirst with their kids into exhibits like Eureka! that comes equipt with a ball launcher and water table. Parents and their "BIG" kids can even reenact Tom Hank's famous piano scene with Eureka's walk on piano. Science World is also home to the jaw-dropping OMNIMAX Theatre, where families can sit back, relax, and enjoy the (educational) show.
Aspiring pilots and not-so-frequent flyers alike can enjoy this virtual 4D experience, created by a former Walt Disney Imagineer. This breathtaking aerial journey elevates guests in front of a 20-meter-wide, sphere-shaped screen before embarking on a virtual 4D experience across the country. The adventure showcases a mix of seasons, magnificent landscapes and vibrant colors, all enhanced by wind, scents, mist, and sound.
Stanley Park is North America’s largest urban park (400 hectares) with 9 kilometers of pedestrian and bicycle-friendly Seawall. Renting a bike is the easiest way to experience Stanley Park to its full potential. Whilst there, park-goers can make a stop at the Vancouver Aquarium and visit the irresistible Sea Otter pup, Baby Taz, one of the newest additions to the Aquarium animal family. Other kid-friendly activities include Stanley Park Horse Drawn Tours, the Stanley Park Train, and in the summer, Second Beach Pool.
Kids can wobble along the 140-meter suspension bridge, and channel their inner park ranger at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Tarzan through the Treetops Adventure – a series of seven suspended walkways between some of its towering trees – and pretend to rock climb along the Cliffwalk, a steel and glass walkway clinging to the side of the steep rock face. In the winter, Capilano transforms into an enchanted forest, during Canyon Lights. Enjoy hot chocolate, decorate gingerbread cookies, sing along to carols, and look up at the tallest Christmas trees in the world.
A quick 15 minutes from downtown, mountaineers of all ages can enjoy Grouse Mountain's stunning views and an unparalleled range of on-mountain experiences. In winter, the mountain is a snowy wonderland with outdoor skating, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. In summer, it’s a hiker’s paradise with numerous trails, (including the famed Grouse Grind), the famous Lumberjack show, the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife (which includes two grizzly bears), helicopter tours, falconry demonstrations and more. Year-round, visitors can experience ziplining and the remarkable Eye of the Wind tour (weather permitting) or fine dining at The Observatory.
Lower Lonsdale & the Newly Renovated Shipyards Commons
Hop off the Seabus and visit the Lonsdale Quay Market and conveniently located Polygon Gallery. From there, head on over to the Shipyard’s Commons, the new home of several merchants, the SeaSide Hotel, Shipyards Night Market, Public Skating Area (seasonal) and Water Park (Seasonal). For more information, click here.